Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Lake City Fights Former LCPD Captain's Unemployment Claim: Lake City Loses

LAKE CITY, FL – On April 24, 2012 the Lake City Police Department announced via press release: Captain Robert Smith Terminated. The reason given was that Captain Smith "was terminated due to his willful refusal to obey a lawful order." After Captain Smith was fired, he filed a claim for unemployment. The City contested Captain Smith's claim.

Captain Smith had been on paid administrative leave for five months and one week.

The documents regarding unemployment claims in Florida are not subject to public disclosure.

The state's Notice of Determination, recently obtained by the Observer, gives very little information, other than the alleged reason for the discharge; a statement regarding the information supplied by the employer/employee to contest the claim; the determination; and the notice stating that the appellant must file an appeal within 20 days.

No information substantiates misconduct

Section I, Notice of Determination states the following: The claimant was discharged for alleged insubordination. No information has been submitted which substantiates misconduct.

Section II, Determination: The discharge was for reason other than misconduct connected with the work.

City Manager Johnson did not contest the state's decision.

Late last night the Observer spoke with former Capt. Smith. The Observer asked if he had spoken with the claims investigator before the decision was made.

Capt. Smith said that they had a brief conversation, "It sounded to me like he was reading from the press release as to why I was discharged. It sounded like that was the documentation that he had."

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